Utah Jazz spoil familiar foes' return to Beehive State with 86-77 win over Portland (+video)
"We knew we had to play defense for 48 minutes," said Jefferson after referencing Portland rallying to beat Dallas on Wednesday after trailing by 21.
"Yes, I really think that was one of our better defensive games."
Foye said the Jazz concentrated on taking away Portland's dangerous 3-point game, which played into Utah's favor because the home team dominated the interior game by outscoring the Blazers 46-36 in the paint.
"I think that Coach put together a great game plan," Foye said, "and we went out and executed 90 percent of it."
The Jazz also got strong performances from a variety of players, helping make up for the absence of Mo Williams (thumb surgery) and Gordon Hayward (shoulder).
Millsap had 15 points despite leaving temporarily in the second half after zinging his funny bone and being engaged in a tough matchup with All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge (16 points, 10 boards). DeMarre Carroll gave Utah another energetic boost off the bench with 13 points, and fellow reserve Derrick Favors dominated the boards with 12 rebounds and seven points.
"They are a good defensive team. Like I said, they are physical," Portland coach Terry Stotts said of the Jazz. "It is one of the those things where I think spacing is going to be very important (tonight)."
Added Carroll: "Inside and out, I think we match up pretty well. We won one here. Hopefully, we can go up there and win one there."
NOTES: Jazz backup point guard Earl Watson left in the fourth quarter with soreness in his lower right leg. While the team traveled to Oregon after Friday's win, Watson remained behind so he can undergo an MRI. He is scheduled to fly to Portland in time to be at the game. Hayward will travel, but is doubtful to play after missing the past three games with a sprained right shoulder. "It's getting better every day," he said. X-rays on Matthews' ankle were negative. He will be re-evaluated today to determine if he'll be able to play tonight at the Rose Garden. Utah's bench outscored Portland's reserves 28-10.
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